Jua Kali – ARC Race Blogs – Day 2 to Day 4
The morning of 20th November brought bad news. I was waking up for some manoeuvres in the almost becalmed boat, and wondered why all lights including navigation instruments were switched off. Both batteries had run down through the night were they were just not able to start the engine for a recharge. It is a humbling feeling to see how much the sailboat, driven by the forces of nature and the spirits of men, depends on electricity.
The boat continued to be slowed by the lack of wind, and the situation did dampen our spirits for a moment.
All attempts – physically based and tinfoil-based – to restart the engine failed.
Approaching the island of Hierro, we decided to pull into the little port of Puerto de la Escala, to fix our problem. As the port is extremely difficult to enter, we asked the port authority for assistance, and they sent a little tug to meet us at the breakwater and help us navigate the turns into the marina. We topped up on shore power, started the engine and were on our way again.
The heroes of the day are the people of the Port Police of Hierro, who assisted us and cleared us out again in the minimal possible amount of time. Gracias, Hierro! And we were on our way again, into the night, the lights of Hierro south of us.
An additional special thanks belongs to the brave little tuna that caught our lure to brighten the spirits.
We made very good way during the night, with the low pressure zone just north of us brining the wind we need to catch up.
We continue during the day on a tighter and tighter haul with good wind. The sky becomes clouded, and it is a grey and rather dull day, reminding us of home rather than our destination. We sit on deck, our foul weather gear keeping us dry, and ourselves keeping warm with dreams of the Caribbean.
The good news of the day: We seem to be recovering some of the incurred delay! This freshly motivates us to put our best effort into the boat speed.
Cooking always proves a challenge. Our meals are simple and easy to prepare. Just cooking some pasta and heating some bags proves quite the challenge in the bumpy ride against the waves on a rather slippery floor. But nobody, not even our crew member from Italy, worry whether the pasta are perfectly al dente.
The low pressure zone works out fine during the night. We are happy how we manage to get through the night, putting in reefs, shaking them and tacking against the prevailing winds. Everybody has gotten settled and understands how things work, manoeuvres work more and more flawlessly, and the trim gets better. So even our skipper finally gets time to catch up on his sleep.